Someone on IMDB commented that this was pretty standard Pixar fare. The story line being that a toy/bug/monster/etc., overcomes obstacles to achieve his dreams. True enough, but essentially all literature outside of lyric, and a few other genres boils down to the basic plot of “Man goes into swamp, and encounters alligators.” You have a tragedy if the man gets eaten by the gators, and a comedy, for the man, if he eats the gators. Everything else is basically detailing the nature of the gators. So the idea of the plot is not necessarily defect. Much depends on how it’s carried out. In the case of our friend Remy, pictured above, it’s carried out fairly well.
The animation is amazing. What stood out in my mind were the storm, which looked like real water, and real raindrops, and the scene in which Skinner pours Linguini some wine. The color, and luminosity of the wine were exactly right.
National Review liked the movie, and Thomas Hibbs commented on how it dealt with the problem of excellence in a democracy, i.e., by recognizing that while not everyone is a genius, genius can come from anywhere. A perfect summation of a good movie.